When it comes to juvenile, intra-media fighting, CJR and its research associates have determined—after extensive data-mining, number-crunching, and textual analysis—that the media’s preferred mode of intra-insult seems to be of the phallic persuasion. To wit: Dana Milbank telling Nico Pitney that “You’re such a dick,” for example, and, more recently, Tuesday’s panel discussion that devolved into Time’s Joe Klein calling The New Republic’s Jamie Kirchick a “dishonest prick.”
Now, okay, sure. These are classics, tried-and-true. But, then—guys: you’re journalists! You communicate for a living! The nation expects—and, frankly, deserves—more from you. Next time you decide it’s a good idea to publicly insult a colleague by engaging in schoolyardtastic name-calling…at least bring a little flair to the party. Thanks.Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.